Patriots

This Patriots CB has best PFF grade at his position, and it's not Stephon Gilmore

This Patriots CB has best PFF grade at his position, and it's not Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore is the best cornerback in the NFL, but one of his New England Patriots teammates has the highest grade at the position from Pro Football Focus through the first three weeks of the 2019 season.

Jonathan Jones has been superb in pass coverage for the Patriots. He's earned an 86/100 grade from PFF in three games. Here's what PFF's Gordon McGuinness wrote about Jones' excellent performance so far:

Jones has posted solid grades in each of the past two seasons, but they’ve been nothing like we’ve seen in the first three weeks of the 2019 season. He currently leads all cornerbacks with 75 or more defensive snaps played in overall grade (86.0). Targeted 17 times in coverage, he has allowed just eight receptions for 79 yards and has recorded three pass breakups. Despite not recording an interception, he has allowed an NFL passer rating of just 60.7 on throws into his coverage.

The Patriots' pass defense has been extraordinary over the first three games. 

This unit has allowed a league-low 162.3 passing yards per game, as well as a league-low 52.8 opponent's completion percentage. The Patriots also haven't allowed a passing touchdown, and their six interceptions lead the league.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Patriots secondary as the fifth-best in the league entering the 2019 season, and this group has exceeded expectations to this point. New England's defense might not face a stiff test for a while given its soft upcoming schedule, so we should expect plenty more impressive defensive stats from the Patriots through the first half of the season.

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Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin describes introductory FaceTimes with Tom Brady

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin describes introductory FaceTimes with Tom Brady

Tom Brady is already making a point to get to know his new teammates in Tampa Bay.

The former New England Patriots quarterback had one request after signing with the Buccaneers last week, and that was all of his teammates' phone numbers. One particular player he's already reached out to is one of his new favorite targets, Chris Godwin.

In a recent interview with Ros Gold-Onwude of The Boardroom, Godwin detailed the dynamic of his first FaceTime conversations with Brady.

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“Really it’s literally just getting to know each other,” Godwin told Gold-Onwude. “Just early introductory things. Just trying to get a feel for who we are as people more than anything else. Like we didn’t talk ball or anything, really just about how excited we both are to play with each other.”

“For me, I’m just going to learn," he added. “You know, learn as much as I can from somebody who’s arguably the G.O.A.T., and I’m just ready to roll.”

The learning curve probably won't be all that steep for Godwin, who broke out in a big way last season for the Bucs. The 24-year-old was one of the top wide receivers in all of football, tallying 121 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.

Godwin went on to describe his initial reaction to Brady -- who's been in the league since Godwin was four years old -- becoming his new QB.

“At first it was a little weird, cause it’s like I feel like it’s someone I’ve watched my entire life, Godwin said. "Like you said, he’s my colleague now so past the initial interaction it’s like alright, cool. This is starting to feel a little more normal now.”

You can watch the full interview below:

Godwin happens to wear No. 12 for the Bucs, but recently said he'll give it up to TB12 if the six-time Super Bowl champion asks for it.

Patriots WR N'Keal Harry already seems to be embracing the underdog role

Patriots WR N'Keal Harry already seems to be embracing the underdog role

Over the course of the New England Patriots' dynasty, NFL fans learned a valuable lesson: never count the Patriots out.

But with Tom Brady leaving after 20 years to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that has quickly changed. Suddenly, the Pats are perceived as underdogs.

It isn't difficult to see why. The quarterback position now is a real area of concern, and several key contributors from 2019 have departed in free agency.

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Pats wide receiver N'Keal Harry, however, doesn't seem worried. The 2019 first-round pick took to Twitter on Saturday with a message for the doubters.

The 22-year-old certainly isn't lacking in confidence.

If the Patriots are to exceed expectations without Brady, Harry will be counted on to be a focal point in the offense. New England's wide receiver depth chart currently consists of Harry, Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, and Jakobi Meyers. There's also a strong chance the position is addressed again via the draft, which takes place next month.

The real question is who will be throwing the ball to Harry when the 2020 NFL season kicks off. Right now, 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham is the odds-on favorite to be Brady's successor.

Harry tallied 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns in seven games during his rookie campaign.